The Wire

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Off The Page 2012: The Attack of the Radiophonic Women: How Synthesizers Cracked Music's Glass Ceiling

April 2012

Anne Hilde Neset chairs a panel with Felicity Ford, Aura Satz and Jonny Trunk on the impact of female composers working in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

From the vantage point of the 21st century, some of the most future-proof electronic music composers of the 1950s and 60s have turned out to be women. From the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram, to Pauline Oliveros in San Francisco and Eliane Radigue in Paris, post-war female composers embraced the liberating technologies of analogue synthesis and computer composition as the means to bypass the male-dominated world of new music, in the process creating some of the period's most idiosyncratic and influential sounds.

For this discussion chaired by The Wire's Deputy Editor Anne Hilde Neset, film maker and visual artist Aura Satz, sound artist Felicity Ford and label runner Jonny Trunk pondered the strange phenomenon and continuing popularity of electronic music's radiophonic women.

The Wire and Sound And Music's Off The Page festival took place 24–26 February at The Playhouse Theatre in Whitstable.

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